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Motorsport round-up: Ghiotto battles back at Monza

PUBLISHED: 14:34 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:34 11 September 2019

The first Monza Chicane caused Luca Ghiotto, in car #8, problems in the second of the FIA Formula 2 races Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

The first Monza Chicane caused Luca Ghiotto, in car #8, problems in the second of the FIA Formula 2 races Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

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It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for Luca Ghiotto, the lead driver for the Attleborough-based UNI-Virtuous Racing FIA Formula Two team, with an impressive fightback in race one at Monza moving him into third place in the championship.

Luca Ghiotto celebrates second place in the opening FIA Formula 2 race at Monza for the Attleborough-based UNI-Virtuosi team alongside Japanese race winner Nobuharu Matsushita Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2Luca Ghiotto celebrates second place in the opening FIA Formula 2 race at Monza for the Attleborough-based UNI-Virtuosi team alongside Japanese race winner Nobuharu Matsushita Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

Red flags and rain ruined Ghiotto's qualifying hopes, with the Italian disappointed having topped the timesheets in practice for his home event at the high speed circuit.

"At Monza, you can make memorable comebacks, overtaking is not impossible," said the Virtuous driver who would try an alternative strategy to his rivals.

A superb opening lap saw Ghiotto make up five places and then he picked off the drivers ahead of him to run fifth when most of the field started to take their pit stops to exchange tyres.

However, the Attleborough's team's plan to run the harder tyre first saw Ghiotto lead the race from lap eight to the 20th tour when he made his pit stop, which didn't go as smoothly as hoped.

UNI-Virtuosi racer Guan Yu Zhou Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2UNI-Virtuosi racer Guan Yu Zhou Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

Fired-up Ghiotto resumed in fifth place and again showed his overtaking prowess to battle his way back to second place.

"I would have liked to win, especially as it's my home race," admitted Ghiotto.

Meanwhile, Guan Yu Zhou, Virtuous' second driver, would start from the front row of the grid and was running strongly after his early pit stop until a clash with a rival caused his retirement due to a punctured right rear tyre.

As the field bunched up to work its way through the first chicane on lap one of race two, Ghiotto clipped the car ahead and damaged his front wing which caused him a few laps later to run into the back of Nyck De Vries, which involved another two cars and a pit stop to change the front wing to finish in last place.

UNI-Virtuosi racer Guan Yu Zhou who is the leading Rookie in this year’s FIA Formula Two Championship salvaged fourth place in race two at Monza for the Attleborough based team after starting in last place Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2UNI-Virtuosi racer Guan Yu Zhou who is the leading Rookie in this year’s FIA Formula Two Championship salvaged fourth place in race two at Monza for the Attleborough based team after starting in last place Picture: Joe Portlock/LAT/FIA F2

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However, Zhou was having a strong race - having started last he worked his way up to fourth place, just missing out on a podium place.

"Enjoyed that one, nice way to making up for yesterday's retirement," said the Chinese racer.

"Mega pace all weekend," said Shipdham's James Hillery, who climbed onto the Mini Cooper Pro podium for the second time this year at Cadwell Park.

James Hillery stood on the Mini Cooper Pro podium for the second time this season at Cadwell Park alongside race winner Toby Goodman with second placed Robbie Dalgleish to the winner's right Picture: James Hillery RacingJames Hillery stood on the Mini Cooper Pro podium for the second time this season at Cadwell Park alongside race winner Toby Goodman with second placed Robbie Dalgleish to the winner's right Picture: James Hillery Racing

The local youngster claimed the position in the final laps and finished right on the tail of the leading two. Sadly, Hillery was forced off track at the beginning of race two, which prompted a fightback to sixth place having completed the opening lap down in ninth place.

An action-packed weekend of truck racing climaxed at Snetterton with a Grand Final comprising of both the Division 1 and 2 categories racing together with Luke Garrett triumphing.

The Division 2 racer was helped as the first attempted had to be stopped as two trucks had broken down and with the reduced number of laps in part two the faster Division 1 trucks couldn't make up the deficit.

Garrett also tasted victory in the second of the standalone Division 2 races with Steven Powell winning the first and Paul Rivett promoted to the win in race three after John Bowler was penalised for 'gaining an unfair advantage' while taking the lead away from Rivett.

There was little separating Paul Rivett, John Bowler and Luke Garrett in their battle for Division 2 honours at Snetterton Picture Graham Holbon PhotographyThere was little separating Paul Rivett, John Bowler and Luke Garrett in their battle for Division 2 honours at Snetterton Picture Graham Holbon Photography

In the Division 1 category, David Jenkins came off best in the three standalone races against rival Ryan Smith, who won the first encounter, but the reigning champion had to give best to Jenkins in the next two races, hampered by a broken gearstick in race two.

Miles Rudman and Sean Smith clocked up two wins each in the Legends with Jack Parker and Will Gibson winning races one and two respectively.

Malcolm Blackman stood on each step of the podium in the Super Silhouette races saving the best to last, while local racer Ian Hales claimed third place in race two but retired out of the other two contests.

The Pickup races went the way of David O'Regan and Dale Gent while Garrie Whittaker took the spoils in each of the BMW events.

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